Due South

From Tom's Moorings to Hunting Bridge No 7, a distance of 23 miles, 7 flg and 6 locks.

We had arrived at the mooring on Thursday evening – it took 90 minutes from Cheltenham and we used the motorway (M5 and M54) all the way to the A41, but as it was after 9:30pm by the time we’d finished loading up we decided it wasn’t worth moving for the night so we stayed put.

Friday morning started a bit damp : that sort of misty drizzly rain which soaks everything in seconds, which didn’t bode well for the weekend although we could see that the sun was trying to break through the clouds.

The visitor moorings were all very quiet – not many boats on them and of the ones that were there seemed to be no signs of life, and we chugged quietly on by.

We met a couple of boats on the Tyrley lock flight but apart from that it was quiet.

Woodseaves Cutting was much greener than it had been at Easter and by now the sun was occasionally breaking through the clouds but still there seemed to be no boats moving. When we had come through the cutting at Easter we had met a couple of brave souls who were walking along the towpath. Nobody was doing that this day and by the state of the towpath no-one had done it for a bit.

When we passed The Wharf at Goldstone Bridge No 55 “Missus Mouse” was moored in the odd mooring that I mentioned previously and the field just before the Pub (which had been full of caravans at Easter) was pretty much deserted.

The cafe at Norbury Junction offers a wide range of food and drink and also Wi-Fi access which is good news for any passing boater who needs to check on their emails or update their blogs. In fact with a boatyard offering full boat services (fuel, gas, pumpouts, engine repairs etc.) and a pub that serves Banks’s it’s hard to find anything negative to say about the place… although the large number of moored boats can be a bit of a pain.

The moorings just by Gnosall Railway Bridge seemed a sensible place to stop for lunch and they were pretty full and most of the boats seemed to be on the move rather than just dumped there.

Cowley cutting was pretty overgrow – if the rock had not been so faulted Cowely tunnel would have been quite impressive.

The run up to Wheaton Aston Lock No 2 was easy – hardly any boats on the move and apart from one boat at the lock (who was very slow) there wasn’t a queue.

The slow boat going through the lock was single handed and was also steering rather erratically as we followed it down towards Brewood .

As we had been on the move since just after 7:30am we decided to call it a day when we got to the 48 hour moorings near Hunting Bridge No 7

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